It’s funny, I couldn’t tell you what I wore the Christmas of 1990 (I’m sure it was a gorgeous dress that matched my siblings and we all looked adorable mom), or what gifts I opened from under the tree, or even if we had snow that year. What I do remember is sipping hot chocolate as we walked through the zoo at night (that in itself is pretty cool to kids) in wonderment at the Lights before Christmas with close family friends, rushing ahead of my parents in awe of the Christmas magic at Children’s Wonderland, touring the over the top decorations at Holidays in the Manor House with my grandparents, seeing the classic, A Christmas Carol, & watching the joy on my father’s face as he recited lines as we watched the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. That’s the thing about Christmas; it really isn’t about the perfect gift it’s about the time spent with loved ones. So this Christmas let’s focus less on the number of goods under the tree and more on the quality of time spent making childhood memories that our children will cherish for a lifetime.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Toledo & the surrounding areas are literally bursting with fun family friendly holiday events! The best part, there is something for everyone and every budget! For our family moderation is key during this special time of year, sure we splurge on certain family traditions like, Children’s Wonderland, Disney on Ice, and the Nutcracker. But in order to keep that Christmas cheer & make certain the entire family, (including mommy and daddy), stay merry & bright throughout the season we seek out fun FREE events in our community…and let me tell you, there is no shortage of fun, FREE, family friendly Christmas events!
Bowling Green’s Annual Holiday Parade in historic downtown BG…“Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!
Where: Downtown Bowling Green, OH. The parade steps off at 9:50 a.m. & the first float is set to hit Main and Wooster streets at 10 a.m.
When: Saturday November 23rd 10am-12pm….Over 10 marching bands, 40 floats and 140 units, from dance groups, to sports teams, to scouts and other organizations BG’s parade boasts of being Northwest Ohio’s biggest and best! The 2019 Bowling Green Holiday Parade’s theme is “Polar Express: Next Stop Bowling Green,”!
The Annual Levis Commons Tree Lighting and Christmas Kickoff is back for its 16th year and COOLER than ever….so cool it’s FROZEN!
Where: THE TOWN CENTER AT LEVIS COMMONS
3201 LEVIS COMMONS BLVD
PERRYSBURG, OH 43551
When……. November 23rd
5pm-8pm: Visit with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff
5pm-9pm: Horse and carriage rides $5/person $10/family of four
6:00pm – 7:00pm: Disney’s Frozen Jr* will be on stage bringing you an hour of your favorite Frozen music and fun from Act 2 Productions Toledo.
7:00pm (aprx) Count down to light the 50 foot tree
Hope for the Holidays & Tree Lighting
When: November 22nd @ 5pm
Where: Promedica Park
Join ProMedica and 13abc as we kick off the holiday season with an evening of Santa, character meet and greets, food trucks, carolers and family fun! 13abc will be on hand for a live broadcast throughout the evening that ends with the lighting of the Promenade Park tree!
5-6 p.m.: 13abc Action News Live news broadcast from Promenade Park
5-8 p.m.: Hope for the Holiday Celebration & Toy Drive
Santa’s Magical Arrival @ The Shops at Fallen Timbers
Where: The Shops at Fallen Timbers 3100 Main Street Maumee Ohio
When: November 29th 5:30-7:30pm
What: The Shops at Fallen Timbers will be Welcoming Santa to town with a Magical Arrival Event. Friday, November 29th from 5:30 – 7:30 enjoy Character Appearances, Music and Dancing, Face Painting and Balloon Animals, a bounce house, and we will end the evening with bringing Santa Down Main St. on a Firetruck to enjoy a Fireworks Spectacular!
This event is free and open to the public!
Downtown Wauseon’s 10th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade!
Where: Downtown Wauseon
When: Saturday Nov. 30th – 7pm
Who loves a parade! It’s time for Downtown Wauseon’s 10th annual Lighted Christmas Parade! Parade winds through historic downtown Wauseon. The parade features, bands, horses, carriages, twirlers, and more!! It wraps up with caroling, FREE refreshments, and a visit with Santa at the Depot!
Maumee Holiday Light Parade
When: November 30 @ 7pm
Where: Light parade will start at the Maumee Indoor Theater & proceed southbound on Conant St.
The Holiday Light Parade is an annual event that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving. NEW THIS YEAR: At the suggestion of the Maumee Police Division, the route for the parade has been changed. Holiday Light Parade: Lighted floats and walking groups will line up along the six-block stretch of West William Street. The parade will then step off from the Maumee Indoor Theater and proceed southbound down Conant Street toward the river before turning right onto Broadway Street to disperse.
The Streets will be alive with crowds of kids both young and old waiting to see the 60+ lighted floats and the man of the night SANTA!
Pemberville Lighted Christmas Parade
When: December 1st @ 6:30pm
Where: Downtown Pemberville
Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights (and Fireworks!!)
When: Dec. 6th-7th
Where: Downtown Ida
Christmas in Ida & Parade of Lights…..Hosting over 52,000 visitors, and known as a family destination of the Midwest, the festival creates a winter wonderland known for its hospitality, entertainment and the Granddaddy of all, the spectacular Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights featuring parade units from Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Canada and Michigan. Most of the events are Saturday, including lunches with Santa, story time with Mrs. Santa Claus and the craft shows are all day! Click on Website for full rundown of events for the weekend!
Saturday Dec. 7th at 7pm, HUGE light parade and fireworks!
The Polar Express Storytime
All aboard! Come in your PJs and join other kiddos for a magical evening as they host their annual Storytime of the beloved classic The Polar Express. Free hot chocolate and cookie…and activities to follow!!
When: Friday December 6th, 2018 7:00 PM
Where: Barnes & Noble Fallen Timbers 3100 Main St #1400, Maumee, OH 43537
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Storytime
When: Saturday Dec. 7th 11am-12pm
Where: Barnes & Noble Franklin Park & Fallen Timbers
“Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes!” and celebrate all things Grinch with a reading of the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! We will have good deed badges and tracking booklets for kids to log all the good things they do this holiday season. Activities to follow!
Heralding the Holidays -Toledo Botanical Gardens
When: Friday, December 6, 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Toledo Botanical Gardens
Heralding the Holidays
Heralding the Holidays is a decades-long tradition showcasing the artist and garden clubs of the Artist Village at Toledo Botanical Garden. Throughout the weekend, you will find art, jewelry, stained glass, and pottery for sale, dried herbs and herbal products, food trucks and roving carolers. Visitors can blow a glass ornament, and glimpse Father Christmas (Friday evening) wandering through the village. Village studios will be decorated. For more details visit the Artist Village website.
City of Toledo Holiday Tree Lighting
When: December 15th 3-7pm
Where: Ottawa Park Ice Rink
Bring your family to Toledo’s 6th annual Holiday Tree lighting, outside the Ice Rink.
Light-Up Waterville for the Holidays
When: Saturday December 7th 6pm-9pm
Where: Third Street
Special lighting celebration to take place on Third Street at 6:00 p.m. kids can visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, enjoyed music and view tree lighting at 6:00 pm.
Home for the Holiday’s Parade- Downtown Perrysburg & Parade
When: December 8th @ 2pm
Where: Downtown Perrysburg
Downtown Perrysburg, Inc. (DPI) is busy preparing for the annual “Home for the Holidays” parade, complete with marching bands, horse drawn carriages, dancers, and other street performers, clowns, big and small balloons, little cars and big trucks, candy and of course Santa Clause! The parade will begin at 2 p.m.
Miracle on Main St Holiday Weekend & Light Parade
Sylvania, OH 43560
Holidays in the Manor House
When: December 7th- 15th 10am-8pm
Where: Wildwood Metropark 5100 Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615
Ring in the holidays at one of Northwest Ohio’s most festive celebrations, Holidays in the Manor House! For over 40 years, community volunteers have transformed over 30 areas of the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve into a holiday wonderland. Tour the Manor House and see why over 25,000 people make Holidays in the Manor House an annual tradition. They always incorporate the kiddos into the tour by adding a small scavenger hunt for items, dress up & photo opportunities, s’mores outside, & NEW this year, ice skating!!!
Winter Wonderland- Co-sponsored by the City of Toledo
When: Tuesday, December 03 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where: Toledo Heights Library 423 Shasta Drive Toledo, OH
Help us celebrate the holiday season with an event for all ages. We’ll start with a craft at the Library, then walk together to the Highland Park Shelter House to enjoy live music, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa!
It’s A Wonderful Life: Silver Screen Classic Film ($5 a person)
When: Friday, December 20th & Sunday, December 22nd @ 7:30pm
Where: 410 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604
Enjoy Toledo’s New Old Fashioned Night Out! Cold Tall Drafts, Full Bar & Popcorn available! It’s a Wonderful Life is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, and Henry Travers. (Tickets are general admission but reservations are strongly encouraged for this film).
Cost: $5 per person for admission
Order tickets here: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/events.html
Family Movie Time
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 minutes), TV-G
When: Saturday, December 21 4:00pm – 4:30pm
Where: Kent Branch Library
Every who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains, only to discover: maybe Christmas, he thought doesn’t come from as store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Magnificently narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it’s an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic!
One of our local Metroparks held its annual Ice Cream Social yesterday. The kiddos were so excited all day, eagerly waiting for 6pm to roll around. I on the other hand was trying my best to come up with a backup plan. See, the weather was definitely not cooperating. It either rained or threatened rain for most of the day. Thankfully when 6pm rolled around it wasn’t raining. So we grabbed our bat & ball, trucks, blanket, and bubbles, and headed to the park!
Once there we found out that the park had a backup plan in case it started to pour down rain. The ice cream, cupcakes, and refreshments were all indoors along with the band.
We laid our claim to a piece of land out in front of the Manor House with our blanket and then headed inside for ice cream. Our two older kiddos, our soon-to-be first grader & preschooler counted out their $ .50 for their tickets and made their exchange. $.50, you can’t beat that, talk about a deal!
Then it was decision-making time: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry……dish or cone…..chocolate chips on top? Decisions….. decisions? Thankfully we by-passed the cupcake room all together because those adorable little cupcakes were way to tempting!
We then sat inside for a minute to listen to the band but the kiddos got a little restless and wanted to play with their friends outside. So we went back to that piece of land we had claimed and the kiddos got a chance to play with their playgroup friends.
After chasing bubbles, playing with trucks, and running around having a grand old-time the girls wanted to take a walk in the garden. The boys wanted nothing to do with the garden until they heard that there might be snakes. So we all took a short stroll over to the garden and toured down the winding brick and grass laid paths. It was gorgeous but being with toddlers makes you view everything in warp speed. So while I couldn’t describe the precise flowers or plants we viewed I do know the height, colors, blooms, pruning, etc. all provided a gorgeous foliage composition.
As we left the garden we came across a tree that had many initials and sayings carved into it, like a tall piece of history that could tell many stories of loves past, present, and future. Our daughter dubbed it the learning tree because it had so many letters, numbers, and shapes (mostly hearts) carved into it. It was so beautiful. Then, as luck would have it, we did indeed see a snake. The boys about lost their minds!
We had such a wonderful time and yes: You scream, I scream, we all screamed for ice cream!! Until next year, thank you Wildwood Volunteers for putting on another fabulous Ice Cream Social!